The Holiday Inn Osaka Namba is a reasonably budget hotel excellently situated in Namba, just at the fringe of Dotombori (read food!) It is very well connected to transportation hubs namely Nippombashi Station (Kintetsu line to Nara, Hankyu and Keihan Line to Kyoto) and Namba Station (Midosuji Line to Umeda and more importantly Nankai Line to Kansai International Airport). Next to Namba station is the OCAT where there is a direct bus (KIX Limo bus) to the airport as well. During winter, one can utilize the Namba walk (an underground shopping link connecting Nippombashi station on one end and Namba Station on the other).
There are plenty of food choices to go around in Namba and Dotombori, so feel free to book a room without breakfast plan. The hotel came with a 7-eleven (and another Lawson nearby), making it extremely convenient for breakfast and supper too!
Don’t’ expect much out from this hotel though. It is a no-frills hotel, where there is only one type of room with double bed (hence, no opportunity for upgrade despite being a newly promoted IHG Platinum member). The only perk I received was 2 welcome drink voucher (or 300 IHG points) and 50% bonus points (instead of 10% for IHG Gold).
I had wanted to stay in Intercontinental Umeda initially to utilize my Ambassador Weekend certificate but unfortunately it was not accepted.
The room was small, but it is significantly bigger than the Royal Park Hotel I had in Tokyo. There is still space for a work desk and single seat sofa despite having a double bed. The mini wardrobe has doors too!
The toilet is cramped (not unusual for Japan). Unfortunately, there was a musty smell coming from the toilet (which I was not able to identify). As we did not spend much time in our room, I did not make a complaint over the issue.
Amenities are topped up daily (toothbrush, slippers, bottled water and tea/coffee).
The room comes with a free smartphone, that is very useful as you can make local/international call with it (yes, its FREE!) – it helped me with few booking rescheduling. For those without any local sim card, this comes very handy for Google Map and Internet.
There is a restaurant in level 1 which serves breakfast but being in Dotombori, you have better food outside the hotel.
I managed to book the hotel using the IHG member Japan Winter time sale (54,000 JPY for 4 nights). By booking via Citi Prestige Concierge using the hotel night benefit, I managed to get a rebate of about USD $105 (while IHG points earning is still based on 4 nights instead of 3)
This hotel is worth considering if one needs a strategically located place to sleep in Osaka without busting the budget. If you are looking for something more upscale, one can consider the ANA Intercontinental hotel.
P.S. – I left something in the room on check out and the staff was kind enough to help me to send it back to Singapore (at my expense of course).
Now, for the exciting part of Osaka …… FOOD!
Ito-En Matcha parfait (from Daimaru in Shinsaibashi and strawberries)
Onigiri Burger with the Kobe Beef Onigiri Burger
Food in Dotombori & Namba
Must try in Osaka!